#22 San Diego State vs. Air Force: Keys To An Aztec Win, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
#22 Aztecs attempt a 7-0 record, but first they must get through 6-1 Falcons, who are favored to win by 3.
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San Diego State vs. Air Force will be the FBS match of the week.
Colorado Springs, CO- SDSU is still undefeated. They face a big challenge on Saturday night against the talented and formidable Air Force who took down Boise State last week 24-17 on the blue turf.
WEEK 8: #22 San Diego State Aztecs (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West) vs. Air Force Falcons (6-1, 3-1 Mountain West)
WHEN: Saturday, October 23rd — 7:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM MST
WHERE: Falcon Stadium, Colorado Springs, CO (46,692)
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes FS1, by following this link.
RADIO: 101.5 KGB / XTRA 1360 / iHeart Radio App / SiriusXM ch. 383
SERIES RECORD: This will be the 37th matchup between these two schools. Air Force leads, 19-17; SDSU has won eight straight games.
LAST WEEK: San Diego State defeated San Jose State in 2OT 19-13. Air Force defeated Boise State 24-17 in Boise.
ODDS: San Diego State +3
This game is going to be a battle of wills given the fact Air Force is the #1 rushing team in FBS, and San Diego State is the #1 rush defense in FBS. The two teams together have a collective record of 12-1. These two factors undoubtedly make this pairing the game of the week.
Three Keys to an Aztecs Victory
1. Stymie The Falcons’ Run Game
Air Force plays the triple option, averaging roughly 66 carries per game. They will very rarely pass and because of the fact, turnovers will be more challenging to produce by the Aztecs.
The Falcons have many skilled running backs, but two stand above the fray. Brad Roberts has 178 carries, 818 yards and 8 touchdowns on the season. He currently stands as fifth in the nation in rushing yards.
Junior quarterback Haaziq Daniels has 101 carries, 525 yards and 9 touchdowns. In passing he is 23-for-48 with 553 yards, 2 touchdowns with one interception. He is the team’s second-leading rusher.
Air Force can feed the ball to other players as well, but will likely rely by and large on Roberts and Daniels. The Aztecs have been able to hold their own against the triple option in years past, even though it can overwhelm some teams.
If the Aztecs can do what they do best and limit the Falcons’ ability to manufacture run yardage, Air Force will be in trouble.
2. Brick Wall Defense Against Third Down Conversions
The Falcons are best in the Mountain West on third-down (49-for-105, 46.7 percent) and fourth-down (17-for-21, 80.9 percent) conversions. Reducing third down conversions through highly effective defensive play will force Air Force to punt or attempt field goals.
Forcing the Falcons to kick will tremendously benefit the Aztecs because the Air Force special teams is a real weak spot, and unlike San Diego State, the Falcons occasionally miss vital chip shots.
3. Hog The Ball
If there’s one thing the Aztecs and Falcons have in common, both teams are effective at maintaining possession considerably longer than opponents. Air Force will intend to maintain around 38 minutes of possession, so the Aztecs must work to prevent this from happening and slow walk the ball when they have possession.
The Aztecs must beat Air Force at their own game, and strategically run for the chains while chewing up clock. They must also limit the possibility for turnovers by paring down the air assault, especially given their notable quarterback challenges.
This has the potential to be a low scoring game given both teams are defensive powerhouses. It also could spill into overtime. Most analysts have leaned toward Air Force being victorious, however the Aztecs have found a way to win every game this season even when the chips have been stacked against them. They have also taken down two Pac-12 teams this season alone.
Once again, the Aztecs will secure a win in overtime.
Final Score: San Diego State 20, Air Force 17